A former spa owner in New Mexico has been charged with a litany of felonies after at least two former clients were diagnosed with HIV after getting “vampire facials” from the spa in 2018, WSPA reported.
Maria Ruiz’s illegal medical spa was shut down by state authorities in 2018 after New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas started an investigation into how two of Ruiz’s clients got HIV, according to WSPA.
The two clients were suspected of getting HIV after receiving “vampire facials,” also called PRP Therapy, a press release from Balderas’ office states.
This procedure involves taking blood from a patient and then injecting it back into their patient’s face using microneedles, WSPA reported. The procedure serves as a non-surgical way to get a facelift, but Ruiz was not properly licensed to give this treatment.
New Mexico spa owner faces 24 charges after ‘Vampire Facial’ clients test positive for HIV https://t.co/YR16jrfG5L
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“We knew we had to shut the business down,” Balderas said, according to WSPA, “These are procedures that should be supervised by a medical doctor.”
Once authorities discovered the spa could have been the source of the HIV cases, the New Mexico Department of Health recommended clients of the spa to get tested for HIV, local outlet KRQE previously reported.
Ruiz’s cosmetology and business license have since expired. Now, she is facing 24 felony charges for a variety of crimes such as tax evasion, racketeering, fraud, money laundering and illegal practice of medicine, according to the press release. Authorities claim Ruiz fabricated certificates, such as a degree from the University of Phoenix, as a ruse to trick her patients into trusting her and getting procedures, WSPA reported. (RELATED: Real-Life Vampire Scare Kills At Least Eight)
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“She deceived many women into trusting her, and her facility,” Balderas said, according to WSPA.
Now, the New Mexico attorney general “recommends that anyone who is planning to undergo PRP therapy make sure that they are receiving the procedure from a properly licensed medical professional and that the establishment is using universal precautions to sterilize equipment and prevent the spread of blood-bourne pathogens.”